Volcano: The fire within
by Boyd van Hoeij
15/05/2011 - The second edition of new director Frederic Boyer's Directors' Fortnight again presents a host of new filmmakers to the world. One of the more buzzed-about debuts is Volcano [trailer], from Icelandic newcomer Runar Runarsson.
The film recounts the intimate – in more ways than one – story of a recent retiree, Hannes (Theodor Juliusson), who has trouble adjusting to the oceans of time at home he suddenly has on his hands.
Of course, for any man who's life was completely absorbed by his daily work routine, retirement can seem like a scary rather than a relaxing and well-deserved prospect. And of course there is adjusting to be done not only by Hannes but also by his wife, Anna (Margret Helga Johannsdottir), who is not used to having him around all day either.
One of the unexpected side effects of all of these adjustments happens in bed.
For its scenes suggesting that sex doesn't necessarily stop in the twilight days of one's life, Volcano will no-doubt be earning comparisons to German director Andreas Dresen's Cloud Nine [trailer], which tackled a similar subject in a similarly carefree and liberating way.
But Hannes' small and personal drama, beautifully suggested by Juliusson and Runarsson's sparse mise-en-scene and unhurried progress, is only the beginning of this family's troubles, which will also involve and divide the couple's adult children (Thorsteinn Bachmann, Elma Lisa Gunnarsdottir) and grandchild (Agust Orn B. Wigum).